My goal in 2019 was to read 2 books per month. I came in just slightly above my goal, with 30 books for the year. Not all of them were a hit, but here were my favorites. The term favorite is a relative one. I judge favorite by either how enjoyable the book was, how profound it was, or how impactful it was. Here’s the list, in no particular order.
I actually kicked off 2019 with this book, and I needed it. This book invites you into wonder as you explore the magnetic force of the real Jesus, frees you from a “trying harder to get better” lifestyle, so you can follow Jesus instead, and walks you through one-of-a-kind practices that lead you into actual encounters with Jesus.
I’ve only written one Amazon review in my life, and it was for this book. I’ll let it speak for itself.
“I’d like to say upfront that I am a “friend” of the author. However, don’t assume that this makes my review biased. Andrew would be the first person to tell you that I take any and every opportunity to publicly criticize him. Therefore, I would not go out of my way to take the time to write a positive review of this book on Amazon unless I felt it truly deserved it.
Andrew’s writing is clever, imaginative, and vulnerable. It also caused me to laugh out loud multiple times. The book was so engaging, and flowed so well, that I read it cover to cover in one sitting. For anyone who is trying to navigate singleness, leaving home, or struggling to find their place in life, this book will speak to you on a deep level. But even if that doesn’t describe your current situation, don’t pass up on the experience this secret treasure has to offer. This book allows you a glimpse into the soul of another human being, and only a true work of art can do that.”
Shane Wood is one of my all time favorite teachers and this book did not disappoint. This book gives us hope in this life lived between two trees. If you’re considering reading it, do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook version…you’ll thank me later.
One of my goals in 2020 is to focus on what I’m calling “perspective books.” These are books that help us gain perspective from disadvantaged and oppressed people groups. This book got me started on that journey, and there’s a reason why many point to it as THE book to begin with for understanding race relations.
Understanding the enneagram has been life changing for me. Although I would not recommend this book as your entryway into the enneagram (in my opinion it’s written for people who already have a foundational understanding of it), it’s the best resource I’ve encountered for helping me see how the enneagram fits into my faith in Jesus.
Pete Holmes grew up in a conservative Christian home…and became a comedian. He also hosts one of the most listened to podcasts out there. The book tells his story of navigating comedy, relationships, and belief in God. LANGUAGE WARNING!
John MacArthur caused quite a stir this year. This book is not easy to read. Coming in at over 300 pages, extensive use of the Greek language, and LOTS of footnotes, it took me some time to get through. However, if you’re wanting to dig into the conversation on what the Bible says about women, this is one of the best resources out there.
Humanity is going places…literally. This book blew my mind on just about every page.
By the end of the year, I needed a break and read some fiction. Stephen King’s latest release was by far my favorite. This was a thrilling page turner, and it’s already been picked up to get turned into a movie/limited series.